iCoffee, you coffee, bring on the coffee! [Sponsored]

Hi, I’m Jenn and I have a coffee problem. It’s not your typical coffee problem, mind you. I don’t drink an obscene number of cups a day, I don’t run red lights just to be first in line at the nearest coffeebucks, and I’m even mildly pleasant before my first cup. Sometimes. Well ok, rarely, but its been known to happen!

My problem is one many of you may be able to relate to: my brain won’t turn on without it. In fact there’s a good possibility I’m an actual, full-fledged zombie without it. Hide yo braaaaiiiiins!

My most recent offense involved attempting to prep my morning caff-attack alongside my toddler’s sippy cup. I do this daily without incident, until that one magical day [clearly a 2 cup of coffee kind of day] where I looked down at the Hello Kitty sippy cup in my hand only to realize it had been filled with coffee.

To. The. Brim.

As I sat there drinking my liquid productivity from that neon pink cup, I couldn’t imagine my life without coffee. Life would be borderline uneventful. With it, however, I do fun things like accidentally water my cat and my herbs with a fresh cup of joe.

coffee glorious coffee

As we gear up for full-blown holiday chaos, my daily coffee fix becomes more essential than ever. I need to be on my A-game. That means no passing out on the floor while my chickpea dances circles around me to the Frozen snowman song, no slacking off on meal-prep for the onslaught of holiday dinners and potlucks, and absolutely no more games of dirty dish Tetris in the sink. In case you were wondering, the dishes don’t disappear each time you score a perfect fit. I demand a rematch!

Recently I was sent a single serve brewing system to help fuel my day with coffee glorious coffee. It won’t do the dishes for me, but it can put a little extra pep in my step while I scrub away at the disaster zone that is my kitchen after some serious holiday food prep.

icoffee-single-cup-steambrew-coffee-maker-by-remington

hello handsome!

I was super excited to try the new iCoffee® Single Serve by Remington, and was immediately impressed with its sleek design and SEVENTY-FIVE OUNCE water reservoir. As someone that likes to have instant coffee gratification as well as a constant speedy source of hot water for tea, I basically geeked out over the water tank alone. Do you realize how much tea that will make!? And cocoa! Cue happy dance. I’m also excited to report that the machine itself is BPA-free [score!] and is compatible with an environmentally friendly reusable iCup that can be filled with your favorite pre-ground or freshly ground coffee. It’s also compatible with any and every K-style cup on the market. I love an appliance that’s flexible AND makes me coffee! But the dishes, why can’t it do my dishes!?

iCoffee single serve OPUS coffee maker

I keep mine on energy saver mode and it surprisingly revs up pretty darn fast when I need my fix. I’m beyond grateful for that feature, as well as the coveted 1 minute brew time. I am far too impatient for a traditional french press or drip coffee maker guys, I’ve tried. It makes me batty. This year has proved to be the busiest of my life and I’m oh-so grateful for a little slice of convenience when it comes to my liquid sanity.

Lucky for moi, the iCoffee® is meant to mimic the effect of a French Press. This SpinBrew technology uses a ventilated needle and jets to spin, steam, and stir the coffee grounds, and is said to release max flavor while minimizing any bitterness. I won’t get all science nerd on you [though you KNOW the scientist in me is dying to!] but I’ve truly been enjoying my iCoffee-spun cups of joe and wouldn’t dream of doctoring it with cream or sugar. I love the taste and find the strength of each up to be my idea of perfection.  I also adore the Dial-a-Brew feature that allows me to choose exactly how many ounces I’d like to brew. For coffee I stick to 8 ounces and when brewing hot water for tea, I crank it to 12. That dial gets a LOT of action these days, since a steaming hot cup of coffee or tea is my favorite way to warm up on a super-cold day. I’ll be sure to leave a mug out for Santa this year, something tells me he’s gonna need it!

coffee

Hmmm… Santa’s hands look oddly familiar… and why does he smell like jet fuel!?

Huge thanks to the folks at iCoffee® for sponsoring this post and sending me this gorgeous brewer which I shall hereby call McSteamy. Standing under the blue light of the coffee maker in my pitch black kitchen while the iCoffee swirls with steam and fills my cup with piping hot coffee makes waking up hours before sunrise much more bearable. Thanks for the morning happy and a huge thank you to my readers for allowing me to support this blog by occasionally featuring products I enjoy the pants off of!

Craving some more info on the brand spankin new iCoffee® single serve? Stalk them on twitter for updates!

Of course since we’re on the topic of the ever-magical cup of coffee, let’s take this a step further and make a batch of [ these ] insanely yummy dark chocolate chip scones to dunk in it:

dark chocolate chip scones

Butternut Baklava Bites

Baklava Bites!

Sometimes I get so ridiculously hung up on a veggie that they manage to find their way into almost everything I make. I humored my fruit fancy earlier in the month with a cranberry-palooza of sorts, but lately it’s all about the butternut. So much so, in fact, that I straight up butternuted my baklava. I regret nothing.

No Ragrets

So what on earth are butternut baklava bites? I filled crispy, flaky phyllo cups with pureed butternut squash spiked with maple and orange, topped them with a medley of toasted nuts and went beyond overboard with my bear-o-honey! They’re a bite-sized indulgence that are not only packed with protein, but are practically a vegetable too! At least I like to think so!

The maple-spiked squash and candied nuts can be made in advanced and assembled when needed, for a speedy sweet treat that is perfect for the holidays!

Butternut Baklava Bites
 
Prep time

Cook time

Total time

 

Author:
Recipe type: appetizer, dessert
Serves: 25 phyllo cups

Ingredients
  • 1 + ½ heaping cups of cubed butternut squash
  • 1 TBSP orange juice
  • 1 TBSP pure maple syrup
  • ¼ cup whole shelled pistachios
  • ¼ cup walnut halves and pieces
  • ¼ cup chopped pecans
  • 1 + ½ TBSP unsalted butter
  • 1 + ½ TBSP sugar [brown or regular]
  • a pinch of salt
  • 25 pre-made phyllo cups, thawed if previously frozen
  • approx ¼ cup honey, or to taste

Instructions
  1. Bring a medium-small pot of water to boil and cook squash for 10 minutes or until fork-tender.
  2. In a food processor or blender, combine squash with orange juice and maple syrup and puree until smooth.
  3. Next finely chop your nuts. This can be done in a food processor, with a sharp knife, or even by filling a plastic bag with nuts and smashing them with a wine bottle. I’ve employed all three techniques, choose what’s easiest for you!
  4. Bring a small skillet to medium heat and melt your butter. Add 1 tablespoon of sugar and your chopped nuts and saute for five minutes until they’re nice and toasty and have a light glaze on them. If you have a major sweet tooth I’ll look the other way while you double the glaze. Since I have a heavy hand with the honey I go light on the glaze.
  5. Fill each phyllo cup with a teaspoon of butternut puree and pile on the candied nuts!
  6. Top each bite with a hearty drizzle of honey and dig in!

Notes
Best when served at room temperature. Butternut puree and candied nuts can be made in advance and assembled when needed! I’d avoid filling the cups too far in advance since the squash will eventually soften or soggify the phyllo layers but they can easily sit out on a party platter awaiting hungry guests! Since they’re dairy free, there’s no need to chill them. Score!

 You can get crazy with your display…

Butternut Baklava Bites: pureed butternut squash spiked with maple and orange, topped with pistachio, pecans, and walnuts and slathered in honey!

 or simply snag a bite the second they hit the table!

Butternut Baklava Bites: pureed butternut squash spiked with maple and orange, topped with pistachio, pecans, and walnuts and slathered in honey!

The only thing that takes less time than making these, is eating them!